July 10th, 2019 ~ Vol. 89 No. 28
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North Coal’s plans in Elk Valley
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
David Selles Photo
Bill Arling, the Director of Environment for North Coal, gave a presentation at the Chamber Luncheon on June 26th, relating a little bit about the proposed plans for a new mine in the Sparwood area.
David Selles
Pass Herald Reporter
Members of North Coal made a presentation at the Chamber Luncheon on June 26th, to discuss their plans for a project in the Elk Valley.

North Coal is a fairly new Canadian based company run out of Sparwood.

Bill Arling, the Director of Environment for North Coal, spent much of the presentation discussing the environmental side of the project.

One of the topics discusses was water quality and how North Coal plans to address it.

“I think the number one issue certainly in the Elk Valley is water quality. At the outset of this project, we knew water was going to be the number one issue and so rather than hiring a huge group of engineers to design the project and then have the environmental team turn that down, we reversed that and had the environmental team create a plan that our engineers could put in practice.”

Arling says the first step is to try and limit the effect North Coal has on clean water to begin with.

“The first step in water management is keeping the footprint small. You want to keep clean water clean so you divert water around the project as much as possible. When water does contact your facility, you want to make sure that it's well managed.”

North Coal is in the continued process of testing different ways to ensure they limit the effect they have on water quality in their mining area.
continued below ...
Another topic discussed was wildlife in the area.

The North Coal team is also looking into ways to limit danger to animals and have spent time tracking bear migrations towards towns and their potential mine site.

By doing this, North Coal will be able to have a better understanding on how their mine will affect bears and other wildlife in the area and the area in which they should and shouldn't develop.

They are also working with the Ktunaxa Nation to further analyze wildlife corridors and how to limit the mines effect on all wildlife.

North Coal is also looking into areas where reforestation may be a possibility as well.

North Coal’s project has a mineral tenure for about 7,500 hectares of which the company is contemplating the development of about 2,000 of that.

The project focuses on the development of Loop Ridge, Michel Head and Tent Mountian.

“We have three assets. We won't mine these all concurrently. Our plan is to develop the loop ridge asset and will mine there for 15 to 20 years before moving to Michel Head and then we would finish up at Tent Mountain.”

Arling says they acquired the asset back in 2011 under the name of CanAus Coal and have since changed their name to North Coal

Arling says they are also hoping to purchase the land the project is on in the near future.

“Currently all the land is private but we are looking to purchase the land because it will allow us to do a lot more interesting things in the areas outside the mine.”
continued below ...
The actual timeline of the project is still slightly up in the air as Arling says the process isn’t quick when getting a project going in Canada.

Once the permits are in place, Arling says the next phase would be to get the personnel and everything else in place.

“When we have our permits in place, we will need somewhere around 400 construction personnel, suppliers and providers and during operations probably 250-300 people.”

Arling says they also hope to source most of the necessary equipment from in Canada.

Arling says this mine will add to the area and continue to make Sparwood one of the most important cities in BC in regards to mining.

“It's worth noting that we are based in Sparwood and the Mining Association of BC has published an overview of the most important cities in BC with respect to mining from a financial standpoint and Sparwood was number one with $270 million in goods and services flowing through Sparwood on an annual basis. We have in excess of 100 million tonnes of hard coking coal and that coal is destined for overseas market for the steal making industry, which is seeing a bit of resurgence right now. Coal prices are very high and that obviously has generated a lot of interest.”

Arling says this is something the community could take on board and potentially take advantage of.
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July 10th, 2019 ~ Vol. 89 No. 28
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